ISLAMABAD: A day ahead of the next hearing of the contempt case against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the federal government on Thursday moved a fresh application before the Supreme Court, seeking permission to furnish screenshots and tweets made by the party leadership on May 25 during the PTI’s previous long march.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, a five-judge Supreme Court bench will on Friday resume hearing on the federal government’s contempt of court petition against Mr Khan over his alleged violation of the court’s May 25 order that required PTI supporters to remain confined to a ground between sectors H-9 and G-9 of the capital and not reach D-Chowk.

Apart from the CJP, the bench consists of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yayha Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

Application says screenshots, tweets by PTI leadership from May 25 to be filed in ‘interest of justice’

The fresh application has been moved under Order 33, Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980, for filing screenshots and various tweets of the PTI leadership in the ongoing case.

“The petitioner wants to file some screenshots and various tweets of the PTI leadership taken and made during the rally on May 25, in the interest of justice,” pleaded the application.

On Wednesday, PTI chief Khan had filed his reply through his counsel Salman Akram Raja that any misconception on his part was entirely “inadvertent” and caused by the circumstances in which the verbal order passed by the court at 6:05pm on May 25 and “understood” by TV channels, was communicated to him by political workers.

In addition, the PTI chairman also requested the court to close the case against him for supposedly reneging on the categorical assurances he had extended in relation to the May 25 Azadi March events. He denied that the reports furnished by law enforcement agencies, including the ISI, IB and the capital police, had established that he had intentionally or willfully disobeyed, disregarded or flouted the court’s directions.

In a 23-page fresh reply submitted to the Supreme Court, Mr Khan had through his counsel also explained that he never received communication that the court had barred peaceful protest gatherings against state violence at any place other than the ground between sectors G-9 and H-9 in Islamabad.

The reply emphasised that the direction of the SC was made in the context of the situation that had developed on account of the violence allegedly perpetrated by the state authorities. Sponta­neous acts of self-defence and resistance took place over which the PTI leadership and Imran Khan had no control, it added.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2022

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